In The Darkest Star you take command of a small fleet of ships. You have to capture or acquire more units in a race to destroy an alien fleet before they wipe out your star system.
While you play and gather units to add to your fleet you will need to manage damage and ammunition from mission to mission, you may decide to stay and wipe out the enemy or push through to the jump point and extract your fleet while under fire.
TACTICS OVER TIME
Unlike some turn based games there are may weapons and abilities that resolve over multiple turns. Missiles will track targets from turn to turn while accelerating, this give you time to counter or intercept them with the terrain or defensive systems.
This combat over multiple turns leads to complex tactical problems for you to solve involving positioning, terrain, fighters and drones all connected in a web of defensive fire and fleet manoeuvring.
Carriers can launch and recover fighters allowing your fleet carrier to stage fighters through forward bases. Resources like ammo means choosing your targets wisely and knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the weapon systems in the game so as not to waste precious missiles and ship hulls.
The battles focus on leading your fleet. This is game about taking the role of an admiral, looking at the big picture and making the hard decisions.
Each campaign contains procedurally generated missions & you will have to choose whether to risk capturing and reactivating ships in battles to grow your fleet or to just fight your way through to the next mission.
Difficulty will scale as as you progress and each enemy battle group your face will have unique make-ups with custom sub battle formations designed to operate together.
The game will need you to make longe range decisions; will you leave your crippled battle ship behind to cover your retreat while low on ammo or use fighters to harry and slow the enemy just long enough to get everyone to to the jump point?
With persistent damage and limited resource to repair and ream damaged units you may have to scuttle damaged ships and strip them of ammo to make other more combat effective.
The campaign will also allow you to risk waiting to gain more ships and resources, but this cam lead to more enemy moving in and your fleet being ambushed.
With all the dynamic features and and adaptive AI The Darkest Star is highly re-playable. Each engagement / mission / campaign will all provide a different experience with different tactical problems.
You may start with just a carrier and its escorts or receive a battleship but little else. Its then up to you to use the ships you have to achieve victory.
ABOUT THE DEVELOPER
A small two man indie studio, with 40 years of games development experience between them.
They wanted to create a tactical experience where the focus is on detailed and interesting battles while not being an information overload; they love space games and were inspired by their past work and the type of games they love to play today.
The game has been a real labor of love and they are looking to build it not just for them but for everyone who loves turn-based games and space combat.
They have a big plan for the future and a whole raft of great ideas for new projects and also how to expand The Darkest Star to add even more content.
RELEASE DATE & PLATFORMS
The Darkest Star is a PC game set to be released on September 2022 on Steam